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Castaway Faith

Today's Devotional

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 1 Peter 4:7

In June 1965, six Tongan teenagers sailed from their island home in search of adventure. But when a storm broke their mast and rudder the first night, they drifted for days without food or water before reaching the uninhabited island of ‘Ata. It would be fifteen months before they were found.

The boys worked together on ‘Ata to survive, setting up a small food garden, hollowing out tree trunks to store rainwater, even building a makeshift gym. When one boy broke his leg from a cliff fall, the others set it using sticks and leaves. Arguments were managed with mandatory reconciliation, and each day began and ended with singing and prayer. When the boys emerged from their ordeal healthy, their families were amazed—their funerals had already been held.

Being a believer in Jesus in the first century could be an isolating experience. Persecuted for your faith and often stranded from family, one could feel adrift. The apostle Peter’s encouragement to such castaways was to stay disciplined and prayerful (1 Peter 4:7), to look after each other (v. 8), and use whatever abilities one has to get the work done (vv. 10–11). In time, God would bring them through their ordeal “strong, firm and steadfast” (5:10).

In times of trial, “castaway faith” is needed. We pray and work in solidarity, and God brings us through.

In times of ordeal, are you more likely to ask for help or try and face the problem alone? What “castaway” do you know who needs encouragement?

Dear God, please give me “castaway faith” to face times of difficulty well.


Peter describes the fact that “the end of all things is near” (1 Peter 4:7) as what can motivate believers in Jesus to daily lives of prayer, love, and service. The word translated “end” is the Greek word telos, which can also be understood as “fulfillment” or “climax.” Peter is assuring believers in Jesus that they can be confident of the end of the story: that Christ will return and His redemptive plan will reach complete fulfillment. That hope isn’t a distant one, but “near” (v. 7) in a way that can transform their daily lives. In His earthly ministry, Jesus captured a similar idea when He proclaimed that the “kingdom of God has come near” (Mark 1:15). The promise that God’s redemption story is reaching its fulfillment in Christ can give believers hope and courage in even the most difficult circumstances.

By |2023-07-26T02:33:24-04:00July 26th, 2023|
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